Genre: YA/Contemporary Fiction/Speculative Fiction
“High schooler Nicole Hallett has just about had it with her brother Jay, so when a mysterious man appears with an offer to replace him with a better one, she doesn’t hesitate. Nicole has always been impulsive, but this time, she finds herself in predicament far worse than anything she’s experienced. Just like that, an average snow day—usually filled with hot cocoa and snowball fights—is commandeered by the stranger, who forces the siblings into a dangerous game.
Confronted by past reflections, tested by present complications, and threatened by future possibilities, Nicole has until the end of the day to disentangle the riddle of her life.
This suspenseful, yet winsome novel by award-winning author David J. Naiman explores the power of family and forgiveness. But take heed. The truth can cut like shards of glass, especially for those who’d rather avoid it. Sometimes, only the finest lies will do.”
A physician specializing in internal medicine during the day, David J. Naiman writes books under at least two different names. The books are sometimes aimed at children, sometimes teens, and other times adults. He lives in Maryland with his wife and two kids. For more, visit his website.
With two teen protagonists this book is obviously aimed at a reader many decades younger than I am. The lessons that the target audience might take from this story fit them like a glove, but are still applicable to some degree with those of all ages, even if the specifics might be a touch different. As for the story itself, it’s a fun read and I was never sure where it was going. There’s a twist to the story that takes this tale into a genre that I’m not sure what to call it. I’ll go with Speculative Fiction (a catchall that covers both Fantasy and Science Fiction) and stories like this that might not quite fit either of those categories, but still come close.
The version of the book I read for review was a pre-release ARC, but I spotted no significant issues in this area regardless.
Rating: **** Four Stars
Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 65-70,000 words